See ya, 2013. Wouldn’t wanna be ya.
And as we clear our throats for yet another mass rendition of Auld Lang Syne, let’s think back to some emblematic entertainment moments marking the passage of the years.
We’ll start with some deep thoughts about that very song from…
WHEN HARRY MET SALLY:
Not one but two key moments in the relationship of H&S take place at New Year’s Eve parties. Here’s Harry (Billy Crystal) on the song. " What does this song mean? For my whole life. I don't know what this song means. I mean, 'Should old acquaintance be forgot?’ Does that mean that we should forget old acquaintances? Or does it mean if we happened to forget them, we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot them?"
If you’re old enough to recall the turn of the century, you remember there was some trepidation that we’d revert to the Stone Age, courtesy of a mass computer glitch. So there was a special urgency to the celebrating at Y2K parties when we heard the Purple One belting out, “Two-thousand zero-zero, party’s over. Oops! Outta time! Too-night I'm gonna party like it's 1999!”
KENNY G’S AULD LANG SYNE (THE MILLENNIUM MIX):
My jazz friends are going to be all over me about this, but the millennium saw a great seven-minute mash-up hit the charts of Mr. G’s serviceable sax rendition, mixed with snippets of audio of the great events of the 20th Century. An already emotion-tugging song given heft by time itself. Viewable on YouTube.
THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE:
“Wait, why is the whole boat turning upside down at the stroke of midnight? I TOLD you not to book us with Carnival Cruise Lines!”
THE GODFATHER: PART II:
One of the most memorable New Year’s Eve’s in movie history, entirely for the utterance of those 10 little words – “I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart.”
Okay, a bit of a downer to bring this up. But the party-scene murder-suicide at the stroke of midnight is a classic and indelible mental image. According to William H. Macy (Little Bill), it was one-take that needed four hours to set up.
THE BARENAKED LADIES-LESS NEW YEAR’S:
Then a relatively unknown band, Barenaked Ladies were tossed from the lineup of Toronto’s City Hall outdoor New Year’s Eve Party at the last minute in 1991 because then-mayor June Rowlands decided their name “objectified women.” The jeering national publicity launched the band to fame. It would be more than 20 years before the city would bear the brunt of equal ridicule under a whole new mayor.
THAT ‘70s SHOW, SERIES FINALE:
Airing incongruously in May, it was really a flashback episode, set at the final New Year’s Eve party before the ‘80s kicked in. But it was kind of cool to see the gang close out the show by assembling in a circle in the basement for one last ambiguous, smoky, smiley session amid the Auld Lang Synes.
THE SIMPSONS, TREEHOUSE OF HORROR X: The 10th ever Treehouse of Horror special aired, appropriately, just before the millennium, and featured, “Life’s A Glitch, And The You Die,” a brilliant stroke-of-midnight worst-case Y2K scenario that included Krusty’s pacemaker exploding, planes crashing and appliances turning evil. The “save mankind” ending had a twist worthy of Rod Serling himself.
Now that’s a New Year’s Eve party!